Well boys, Manchester United suck. We all knew it but I was clinging on to the last little bit of hope and sure enough they go and shit the bed against LITERALLY one of the worst teams in the history of the Premier League. Sad state of affairs at the moment.
As for the rest of the top 4, Chelsea did their job. Tottenham left the door cracked but really it’s down to Arsenal and CHE for the 4th and final spot. As a reminder, They can also qualify automatically by winning the Europa League. In any case, that’s not why we are here. Let’s talk CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!!
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This was an ass tapping. Barca won 3-0. Liverpool played on the front foot and did create plenty of chances but lacked the final touch to get the crucial away goal. They had 53% possession and outshot Barca 15-12. Ter Stegen had a great game but Salah also missed an absolute sitter inside the 6 yard box late. (on his right foot which is basically for standing on) Had they got the away goal I would say the tie was still up in the air. Down 3-0 and heading back to Anfield you’d have to think we are in for an exciting matchup.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- The Kop does suck goals in at times. The home field advantage will be immense. Liverpool will come out FLYING.
- Salah’s health is still up in the air after going off with a head injury this past weekend.
- An away goal by Barca means Liverpool will need to score at least 5 goals.
I do think Barca will score but even Messi has been suspect away from the Camp Nou. Coutinho was again whistled off at home last game and Dembele missed 2 easy chances in 4 minutes the last game. While it was Suarez’s goal that got the scoring started, there is only 1 man that can do the damage on the road. It has to be Messi.
While Liverpool possess and push there will be a giant space in behind. This to me has Dembele’s name all over it. I’m hopeful he’ll get the start and bury a chance.
Prediction: LIV 2-2 Barca (Barca advance 5-2 on Agg)
Ajax won the game 1-0, picking up a crucial away goal in the process. This may come down to chances missed by Ajax to be honest. Spurs were there for the taking. The first 20 minutes was the most I’ve seen a game dominated at this level, this late in the competition. Ajax were bossing Spurs all over the field.
Poch made a tactical change to press further up the field and tweek the formation a bit and it really slowed the Ajax attack. Vertonghen went off with a scary injury just 39 minutes into the game and yet another change occurred for the better for Spurs. It begs the question why Pochettino didn’t start the game that way.
In any case, Tottenham are playing from behind. Ajax aren’t going to change their style for anyone, especially heading back home with a lead. I do expect more scoring in this game. Son is back for Spurs. He picked up a red card last weekend and fully expect him to get 90 minutes in this contest.
The usual suspects for Ajax will look to do the damage. Neres, Tadic and Ziyech will lead the line. Van de Beek will look to find the pockets and get between the lines. De Jong will dictate play and Schonne will look to get on the ball as much as possible.
I mentioned that tactical shift made by Tottenham earlier and Schone/De Jong were the recipients of the shift. The addition of Sissoko certainly boosted numbers and physicality in the midfield but Poch specifically shut down the engine of the offense. Schone was so ineffective that he was withdrawn early in the second half.
I expect more of the same from Spurs but I expect Ajax to have worked out to play through the press in the weeks time. One thing is for sure, this will be fun.
Messi – FCB
Still just $10k on DK so we have to go here. Again, on the road but I still feel he’ll get that vital away goal. The GOAT.
Brewster – LIV
No Salah and no Firmino so he’ll likely get the start. If Origi/Sturridge get the start instead they are both fine to use. I do think Liverpool scores in this game and they are are all 3 very cheap. My preference is the nearly free Brewster.
Hueng-Min – TOT
He’ll have hated watching the first leg from the stands. He’s the best player on TOT and will need to be immense for them to get a result.
Neres – AJA
I want to play Tadic but realistically Neres’ price is more attractive. I think this game has goals from both teams. He’s popped up in good spots but can he finish?
Tadic – AJA
K here he is! He screwed us in the first leg but back at home is a spot I’m willing to spend on.
Ziyech – AJA
Just a beast. Plug and play at home.
Dembele – FCB
Does he or Coutinho get the start? I prefer Dembele. The two missed sitters leaves this matchup slightly in play but Barca should still advance. Love his explosiveness when in form. Also frees Messi up to get more central.
Mane – LIV
Gotta be the main man, right? No Salah. No Firmino. The only worry is that perhaps Barca shades their D coverage more towards him with less quality elsewhere.
Wijnaldum – LIV
Played in the false 9 in leg 1. He won’t be there this time but he could still feature in a midfield 3. What an engine this guy has…sheesh!
Moura – TOT
He’s given everything for the shirt in the last few weeks. My worry is that he does more work on the field v racking up DFS stats. Capable of scoring.
Alexander-Arnold – LIV
I gotta believe with their attack they’ll include TAA from the start. Liverpool were able to possess the ball more than I anticipated. #1 D for me.
Trippier – TOT
Took nearly all set pieces for 70 minutes before Eriksen took over. They’ll need to attack. Boom.
Veltman – AJA
Steady Eddy man. Give me those 5-9 points.
Van Dijk – LIV
He scored another damn header goal this weekend. Just so dangerous on sets.
Alba – FCB
Not as big a fan when Barca are on the road but you know what he’s capable of.
GOALKEEPERS (Ranked in order)
OnOnana – AJA
We liked him on the road. We have to like him back at home. The return of Son decreased the CS odds a touch.
Alisson – LIV
Under $5k on DK. STill playing Messi but I like Liverpool to potentially win this game.
Lloris – TOT
Super cheap on DK. On the road but with only 4 goalies you can take stabs everywhere.
Ter Stegen – FCB
Liverpool will score. Don’t know that he’ll make enough saves to get over the hump.
I’ll be looking for some exotics to at least get some action on these games.